By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Governor of Ogun State, Mr Ibikunle Amosun, has maintained that he never dismissed any worker from the state’s civil service due to the ongoing industrial action.
On Monday, the Governor approved the dismissal of the state chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Akeem Ambali, his Vice and the state chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Comrade Dare Ilekoya, 14 others.
Those dismissed were A.O Oshin, Nola Balogun, Eniola Atiku, Solaru.O, Adebanjo.T, Akinola.A.S, Oyolola .S.A, Obafemi. O.B, Ogunsola Peter, Akinlade.S.A, Christopher.T.A, Ogunrombi A.A, Azeez.K.I and Taiwo A.O.
Those suspended were Odusanya S.A, Comrade Akapo, Adegbesan J.O, Adelami S.I, Obadara O, Ogunnuga O.A, Ayokambi T.A, Tijani A.A, Adegbesan J.O, Idowu A.O, Olaifa O.A, Bayo Lasore, Ahmodu S.A, Oludotun Oliyide, Tijani Y.A, Awode I.A, Dada O.A and Adesanya Abiola.
The move has generated mixed reactions since yesterday, with some calling the Governor a tyrant, who wants to cow oppositions in the state.
But reacting on Tuesday via a statement signed by Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Mr Adejuwon Soyinka, Mr Amosun said there was no iota of truth to this speculation.
“Contrary to such claims, what truly transpired is that the Ogun State Civil Service Commission, in furtherance of its statutory responsibility of maintaining discipline and adherence to public service rules and extant regulations, on Monday, took the decision to sanction some civil servants.
“The affected civil servants were alleged to have been involved in certain acts of misconduct in the course of the 2016 World Teachers Day celebration on October 5, 2016 way before the ongoing strike action commenced.
“In a statement issued on Monday and signed by the Ogun State Head of Service, Elder Sola Adeyemi, the State Civil Service Commission explained that it received complaints from concerned members of the public against some public and civil servants allegedly involved in various acts of misconduct in the course of the 2016 World Teachers Day celebration.
“The allegations against the affected civil and public servants include the fact that, contrary to extant public service rules, they got involved in partisan politics by publicly admitting receiving money from a politician and also hiring a musician with whom they sang praises of the said politician while chanting political slogans in the course of the World Teachers Day celebration.
“To determine the veracity of such complaints and give the affected civil and public servants the opportunity for fair hearing, the Civil Service Commission said it set up an administrative panel of Inquiry on October 17, 2016.
“The panel’s term of reference include, among others, to investigate the events of October 5, 2016 at the NUT Multipurpose hall, Kuto, Abeokuta with a view to identifying the public and civil servants directly or indirectly involved in partisan political activities; determine the culpability or otherwise of the identified public servants and recommend appropriate disciplinary actions in line with the public service rules and extant regulations.
“Before arriving at its decisions, the panel issued queries and invited the affected civil servants who in turn made written and oral representations.
“After listening to all parties involved including witnesses, as well as reviewing the evidences at its disposal, the panel, in its wisdom, recommended the dismissal of 16 public and civil servants.
“Those recommended for dismissal include Comrade Akeem Ambali, the state chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and Comrade Dare Ilekoya, the state chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT. They were all found to have contravened the Public Service Rules 04401, 04402 (c&d) and 04406 (a) due to their involvement in the political rally they held under the guise of World Teachers Day celebration event.
“The panel also recommended the suspension of 19 others while exonerating one Mr Abiodun Oriyomi Samuel who was said not to have been involved in the alleged partisan act.
“From the foregoing, it is clear that the State Civil Service Commission only acted in fulfilment of its statutory responsibility and this has nothing to do with Governor Amosun or the ongoing strike action embarked upon by a section of the workforce in the state.”
We’re Yet to Receive Formal Report of Sylvester Oromoni’s Death—Police
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Lagos State Police Command on Saturday night said it was yet to receive a formal report of the death of one Sylvester Oromoni, a 12-year-old student of Dowen College, Lekki, Lagos.
The death of Master Oromoni has been trending online for the past few days and the video of his painful death sparked reactions after it was reported that he was bullied in school and allegedly forced to swallow substances believed to have eventually killed.
The incident forced the Lagos State government to shut down the school indefinitely for investigation.
On Saturday night, the spokesman for the Lagos Police Command, Mr Adekunle Ajisebutu, a chief superintendent police (CSP), said though none of the parents or the school has formally filed a report on the matter, the command has swung into action to get to the root of the matter.
According to him, “the Commissioner of Police, upon hearing about it instantly, directed the Divisional Police Officer, Maroko Division under whose jurisdiction the place of incident is to immediately visit the school to carry out an initial investigation into the incident.”
“This directive has been carried out as an investigation into the case has since commenced. However, in view of the seriousness of the case, the Homicide Section of the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, has also been directed to take over the investigation of the case immediately,” he added.
“Members of the public, particularly the deceased’s bereaved parents, friends and relatives, are assured that the Lagos State Police Command has deployed all available human and material resources at its disposal to unravel the circumstances surrounding the sad and unfortunate incident,” the police image-maker for the command stated.
“While a diligent investigation is ongoing, members of the public are advised against taking the law into their own hands. They are also enjoined to refrain from comments that could jeopardize the investigation,” he appealed.
Concluding, Mr Ajisebutu said, “The Commissioner of Police, CP Hakeem Odumosu, while commiserating with the bereaved family, has equally assured that the outcome of police investigation would be made public in due course.”
Adisa Receives Media Friendly State Lawmaker Award
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
For his contributions to the infrastructural development of his constituency and outstanding achievements as a lawmaker, the member representing Afijio constituency in the Oyo State House of Assembly, Mr Seyi Adisa, has been given the Media Friendly State Lawmaker Award.
The award was conferred on the state legislator by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo State Council during its press week at the Press Centre, Iyaganku, Ibadan.
Chairman of the NUJ Oyo chapter, Mr Demola Babalola, disclosed that the award was in recognition of Mr Adisa’s outstanding performance as a lawmaker, who has excelled in his calling as well contributed to the development of society.
He said his contributions to the development of his people, communities in his constituency and his senatorial district of Oyo North are laudable.
“You are given this special award of exemplary performance and also awarded as the Media-Friendly State Lawmaker of the Year in Oyo state because we believe you deserve it,” he said.
While receiving the award, Mr Adisa declared his appreciation of the gesture, saying “big thanks to the Oyo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) for this special recognition and Award of Exemplary Performance that also doubled as an Award for the Media-Friendly State Lawmaker of the Year.
“I do not take this for granted.”
We Will Defend Free Press in Nigeria—US Government Assures
By Adedapo Adesanya
The United States government has promised to do everything possible to defend free press in Nigeria, which it said remains vital to democracy and good governance.
The American government expressed this with a partnership, through its Embassy, with the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) for the first of the six media-focused Town Halls and Workshops in Lagos on Thursday.
The event will also take place across the country in the next several months.
The capacity-building programme will provide a forum for over 200 participating Nigerian editors and leaders of the independent press to discuss and share best practices and to also hear from the United States government.
Experts on topics such as journalistic standards, identifying bias, and conducting fact-based investigative reporting to better inform the Nigerian public will be provided.
Delivering keynote remarks at the opening programme in Lagos, the US Ambassador, Mrs Mary Beth Leonard discussed the challenges faced by Nigeria and other democracies across the world and highlighted democracy’s greatest strength: the ability to improve upon and reinvent itself.
She quipped that when belief in democracy, good governance and elections are restored, Nigerians will want to be a part of that system and will defend it.
Ambassador Leonard noted, “Our hope is that in this forum today is that you will lead and serve as catalysts for further discussions on countering disinformation; increasing transparency; solution building; and encouraging media literacy and their contribution to a democracy that is accountable to its people.”
The US government is committed to initiatives that build media capacity in Nigeria, she added.
According to her, for years, the US Mission has funded partnerships that promote Nigeria’s democratic governance, unity and stability by improving government transparency and accountability, the rule of law, free and professional media, as well as civil society capacity and engagement.
On his part, the General Secretary of NGE, Mr Iyobosa Uwugiaren, said, “At the end of the project, we expect to see a pool of Nigerian editors, senior journalists and media managers, who will be galvanised and committed to the highest ethical standard and to take robust actions towards this.
“Editors who will be committed to the promotion and protection of the right to an independent press, freedom of expression and deepening democratic space; and constantly projecting issue-based governance in defence of the mass of the Nigerian people.”
The Town Halls and editor workshops are supported through a grant from the US Embassy’s Public Affairs Section in Abuja to the NGE.
In addition to Lagos, the programmes will take place in Kano in January 2022, then Yola, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Enugu will follow in subsequent months.
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